Story of the Day for Friday December 2, 2011
Slowing Down Enough to Enjoy Him
Be still before the Lord and patiently wait for him.
I’m a passionate deer hunter – which goes completely against my nature. When you hunt you need to s-l-o-w . . . w-a-y . . . d-o-w-n. But I want to do everything in overdrive. It’s not easy for me to enter the woods and drop anchor. When I sit motionless I feel as comfortable as a Buckingham Palace guard with happy feet.
Yet, in those moments of stillness, the woods come alive. A snowy-white ermine once played at my feet. A nuthatch landed on my shoulder. I have watched the goofy games that a pair of fawns will play and have even ruefully discovered the pace at which a mountain lion will stalk you.
Hunting teaches me that you can accomplish more by going slower. Astronauts understand this principle. If you want to rendezvous with another spacecraft, you cannot accelerate to catch up with it. Accelerating sends you into a higher orbit – which slows you down. If you want to go faster, you must decelerate. As you drop into a lower orbit, your speed increases.
But even if you don’t care about deer hunting or racing spaceships, slowing down to speed up is vital in so many aspects of life.
Studies have shown that creativity and insightfulness decrease when we are in a hurry to be creative and insightful.
Rushing through life diminishes our appreciation of things. Once, our family went to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. My wife and kids dawdled over every exhibit. They gawked at the enormity of General Sherman’s stuffed horse. They stared at Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, and reminisced about the movie.
I was getting antsy. There was so much to see. So, I left them to tour the museum of art on my own. While art lovers sat on benches to ponder a painting by Leonardo DaVinci, I was marching through the hallways to see everything. As a result, I saw a lot but enjoyed little.
When you don’t take time to stop, you never know what roses smell like.
But, most importantly, we have to slow down to grow in our relationships. When I take my wife out to eat, I’m more than happy to zip into the drive-through lane at McDonald’s and stuff my mouth with fries while I drive. My wife, on the other hand, prefers a candlelight dinner. That’s because, when it’s dark, I can’t see the food on my plate, and I eat more slowly.
Learning to be still before God doesn’t come easy for me. But the things I long from God: insight, appreciation of his goodness, and a relationship of harmony with him only happens when I slow down enough to enjoy him.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)